Rick Stratton:

How my comment on TechCrunch got me a Facebook Cease and Desist

April 2 2012

Update... from 4/9/2012:

Both Facebook and I consider this matter closed.  

Posted on 4/2/2012... 

This morning I woke up to a Fedex delivery of a four page letter that informs me that I have to Cease and Desist a web service that violates Facebook's ToS.

Unfortunately for me, I have absolutely nothing to do with this thing.

This letter requests that I shut down "Defaceable", which I've been apparently coding and running for a year, unknowingly.

Defaceable is a browser plugin that allows some sort of anonymous posting on Facebook. It's sort of an insulting name and I can see why Facebook would want it shut down. But I can't do anything about it.

Here's why Facebook thinks I'm involved:

Back in April or May of 2011, Facebook TechCrunch switched from Disqus to Facebook for comments (which sucked, but that's a different post). I was one of the first commenters on the new Facebook comments on TechCrunch.

And on May 11, 2011 Alexia Tsotsis posted an article about this Defaceable thing. She did a screengrab of the Defaceable comment (that red cherry thing) and it included my comment and picture:



Immediately I got about 10 twitter @ messages and IMs from people - "Hey you're on TechCrunch". It was completely ironic - Feed.Us is a great software service that TechCrunch should write about but the only way we make it on TC is when Alexis takes a screengrab of my face.

So I replied to the story with a new comment "Hey I finally made it onto TechCrunch.": 


And so now lawyers in Palo Alto and Seattle think that I have created, maintain and control Defaceable. That's it. That's their evidence.

More irony? The software is for ANONYMIZING yet meanwhile my name and photo appear twice on the article.



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